Gas prices continue to slide with 39 states, including Oregon, seeing double-digit decreases this week. But an uptick in gas demand as more people fuel up could slow or even end the steady declines in pump prices.
For the week, the national average for regular tumbles 14 cents to $4.19 a gallon. The Oregon average slides a dime to $5.05.
The national average reached its record high of $5.016 on June 14 while the Oregon average reached its record high of $5.548 on June 15. Both averages have been steadily declining since then.
“A recent survey from AAA showed that Americans have changed their driving habits to cope with high gas prices. Now with gas below $4 a gallon at nearly half of the gas stations around the country, increasing demand could slow or even end the daily gas price declines,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
The consumer survey from AAA shows that drivers are making significant changes to cope with high pump prices. Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March, with 23% making “major changes.” Drivers’ top three changes to offset high gas prices are driving less, combining errands, and reducing shopping or dining out. Other changes include delaying major purchases, postponing vacations and saving less money.
The national and Oregon averages for regular gas have been falling since mid-June with this week marking the seventh consecutive week of declines. The major drivers of lower pump prices have been falling crude oil prices and a few weeks of seasonally low demand for gas.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have lower prices now than a week ago, and 39 states, including Oregon, have double-digit declines. Colorado (-22 cents) has the largest weekly drop. Connecticut (-3 cents) has the smallest.
California ($5.59) is the most expensive state. There are five states, including Oregon, with averages at or above $5, down from seven states a week ago. This week 31 states and the District of Columbia have averages at or above $4, and 19 states have averages in the $3-range.
The cheapest gas in the nation is in Texas ($3.69) and South Carolina ($3.71). For the 82nd week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is 63 cents less and the Oregon average is 42 cents less than a month ago. Oregon has the sixth-smallest monthly decrease in the nation. Ohio (-85 cents) has the largest monthly drop. Hawaii (-17 cents) has the smallest.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a year ago, and all have a current average that’s at least 77 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. The national average is $1.01 more and the Oregon average is $1.31 more than a year ago. This is the ninth-largest yearly increase in the nation.